Thursday, July 16, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lena B. Ellingwood

Lena B. Ellingwood was born Lena Bertha Cole in Milan, New Hampshire, on December 1, 1866, according to the New Hampshire Birth Records and the New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847–2011, both at Her parents were Lewis Hutchinson Cole and Emily Lydia Phipps.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Lena was the youngest of three children. Her father was a lumber dealer. The Cole family resided in Portland, Maine.

According to the 1880 census, Lena’s family was part of her maternal grandfather’s household. James M. Phipps was a farmer. Lena’s mother was a seamstress and her father an “agent for moving machine scythe grinder.” They were residents of Milan, New Hampshire.

Historical Notes and Pictures of Milan, New Hampshire, 1771–1971 (1971) said Lena “married Aked D. Ellingwood May 17, 1887, and was co-editor with her husband for a number of years of weekly newspapers at Groveton, Bethel, Morrisville, Vt., and Milan.”

In the 1900 census, Lena and Charles, a job printer, had two daughters, Agnes and Marion. Their home was in Milan.

The Ellingwoods were recorded in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses in Northumberland, New Hampshire on Stratford Road. Lena’s husband was a real estate agent.

According to the Harrison Cady tumblr blog, Lena wrote and Cady drew Cubby Bear for Comfort Magazine starting November 1915 and ending December 1931. At some point, Enos B. Comstock was the artist of Cubby Bear for Comfort Magazine. Lena wrote Cubby Bear for 25 years.

In 1927 a Cubby Bear book was published and illustrated by H. Boylston Dummer. Other story books by Lena include Betty June and Her Friends, Belda in Blunderland and Little Black Pompey.

Historical Notes and Pictures of Milan, New Hampshire said Lena’s work appeared in “Youth’s Companion, Portland Transcript, Social Progress, The Editor, Child Life, Normal Instructor & Primary Plans, Comfort Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Zion’s Herald, Boston Post, Successful Farming, Farmer’s Wife, and many church school papers.” For The Editor, December 2, 1922, Lena wrote “Writing Stories for Children.”

The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood (1979) said Lena’s husband passed away in 1934.

Lena and daughter, Marion, were found in a number Berlin, New Hampshire city directories. The 1939 and 1941 directories listed them at 253 Main Street. Directories for the years 1948 and 1953 said their address was 168 Madison Avenue.

According to Ancestors and Descendants, Lena passed away in 1964 and was buried in Milan, New Hampshire. An obituary has not been found.

—Alex Jay


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